The News for November 13th, 2020

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Ferrari drops the top on the SF90, BMW makes another really ugly car, Rivian leaks show pricing, launch date, and a range extending battery pack for the R1T and R1S, Audi makes a killer RS6 GTO concept, Porsche Motorsport marks their final GTLM race in IMSA with a special livery, Acura brings back a gorgeous paint from the original NSX, and we talk about the Ford eTransit.

Ferrari SF90 Spider

SF90 spider

In more 1%er news, Ferrari is doing the thing it does with all of their supercars and releasing an open top version. The SF90 plug-in-hybrid supercar is the latest to receive the Spider treatment. The car that is sort of the successor to the LaFerrari, I guess, deploys similar technology to achieve some incredible numbers. Yet Ferrari claims this car is about the thrill of driving rather than just performance alone, and this open top monster lends to that philosophy.

The powertrain is unchanged from the “normal” SF90 but it doesn’t need to be. Power originates from a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 which contributes 769 horsepower on its own and three electric motors which kick in another 217 horsepower. This AWD Ferrari gets to play with a total 986 horsepower and puts it down pretty well with a 0-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds. An eight-speed dual clutch transmission fires off rapid gear changes all the way to the car’s top speed of 211 mph. It’s capable of driving on electric power alone for a range of around 15 miles, which is meant for city centers and sneaking home at 4 AM after you were out too late doing rich person stuff.

SF90 spider

Ferrari chose a folding hard top because of its optimal noise insulation and its protection from the elements when raised. It also won’t deform at high speed, takes up minimal space when folded, and is very light, weighing only 88 pounds or so heavier than the fixed hard top counterpart. The whole thing can be actioned in just 14 seconds. Ferrari didn’t mention the need of any chassis reinforcements but they did have to make some small but consequential changes to the aero for it all to work.

The Ferrari SF90 Spider costs around half a million I guess and goes on sale whenever you see Schmee with one.

[Source: Ferrari via Jalopnik]


BMW ix

Good news! BMW has finally begun to expand the electric lineup again with an all important fully electric SUV. Bad news: it looks like this.

Going on sale early 2022 and thus giving BMW plenty of time to change their minds, the iX is the new electric flagship that will likely be what they need to become a serious EV contender. Everyone wants an SUV right now and an increasing amount of people want EVs, so BMW is already a bit late to the game here. But they’re coming out swinging.

It rides on a new modular architecture that’s scalable and will certainly be seen more in the near future. The iX is about the size of the X5. It contains a battery pack within the floorboards which powers two electric motors, one at each axle. No word on the capacity of said battery but they do claim it will be made sustainably with no rare earths. It can produce up to 500 horsepower and deliver a driving range of over 300 miles. Buyers won’t be able to see any of that because BMW has made the engine bay (so to speak) inaccessible to mere mortals. Only BMW technicians can get in there.

bmw ix

BMW packed this thing with neat tech and features. One of those is a panoramic glass roof with multiple layers of film inside which block UV rays even when clear and can shade the cabin when commanded. The computer systems on board were given a significant performance increase as well, capable of handling 20 times the data volume of previous BMWs. This will coincide with an autonomous system being made available in the future.

And don’t worry, there’s even a feature to protect that valuable asset up front. That’s right, the beaver teeth are protected with a coating of polyurethane which is self healing. Minor scratches can be repaired within 24 hours at room temperature or five minutes with warm air blowing on it. That’s good. We wouldn’t want anything to happen to that.

While it’s ugly as shit, this is a very important EV for BMW. This will be the car that can truly establish them as a major player in EV space, if it works as they claim. You’d think they would make it a little less offensive though for something so important… but BMW is gonna BMW. That interior looks killer though. Maybe that team should have more influence over the exterior design.

[Source: BMW]

Rivian RT1 and R1S starting price, launch dates leaked

Rivian R1S

One of the most exciting EV startups is edging closer to selling their first round of production vehicles. Leaked documents picked up by Rivian Owners’ Forum seem to have revealed some key details like starting price, the on sale date, and a neat patent that could make its way to production.

The documents claim that the R1T pickup will start at $67,500 and climb quickly depending on trim levels and equipment and will launch next June. Meanwhile the R1S SUV will start at $70,000 even and will be available from next August. Rivian will likely start with the launch editions first, meaning normal buyers without a reservation might have to wait till later in 2021 or early 2022 to be able to pick one up.

rivan r1t rebelle rally

That’s not all the leaked this week though. Rivian filed a patent for a removable battery pack that essentially takes the place of a truck bed toolbox. But instead of sitting empty with a Yeti and Salt Life sticker on it, this one would provide a substantial improvement in driving range. This would be useful for those who are brave enough to take their Rivian deep into the wilderness, as their marketing has suggested you should, but are sensible enough to realize there are no charging stations in said deep wilderness. You can see the patent drawings on Jalopnik.

[Source: Jalopnik via Rivian Owners’ Forum]

Audi RS6 GTO Concept

rs6 gto

Just in case you needed some eye candy today, a ridiculously cool project from Audi was leaked by Autocar this week. It’s an RS6 Avant from our dreams. Built by a “group of apprentices” at Audi’s Neckarsulm factory, it celebrates 40 years of Quattro AWD by paying homage to one of the most famous race cars to carry the tech – the legendary 90 Quattro IMSA GTO.

Complete with a boxy and beautiful bodykit, side exit exhaust, some of the raddest wheels I’ve ever seen, and a modern take on the legendary racing livery, this RS6 GTO Concept is one of the best things I’ve seen this year. This isn’t the official unveiling obviously, so details are scarce and the pictures are low resolution. But check out the full gallery of what Autocar found while we wait for the full reveal.

[Source: Autocar]

Porsche’s final weekend in GTLM


This weekend’s 12 Hours of Sebring which is definitely not in March anymore marks the final race of what has been a very strange IMSA season. And with it goes a very special team. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that the pandemic has forced them to leave America’s premiere sports car class. As they take to the grid for their final IMSA GTLM race, they’ll be wearing a special livery to say goodbye.

The two Porscshe 911 RSRs run by CORE Autosport will each wear a unique livery inspired by the nation’s colors with “THANK YOU” placed all around the car. If there’s one thing this team has done better than anyone in the IMSA field, it’s their various throwback liveries that have paid tribute to some legendary cars from Porsche’s racing history. This one just hits differently though.

This car and this team have been a mainstay in North American sports car racing since 2014. Porsche Motorsport and CORE Autosport have picked up numerous championships and endurance titles. Even if they weren’t up front, they were always a thorn in someone’s sides. One of the classiest, most competitive, and most fun teams in IMSA won’t be around next year. And that hurts.


What’s worse is BMW is also contemplating going to an endurance only schedule next year, meaning we’ll only see them for Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen, and Road Atlanta. Unless Corvette wants to parade their C8.R around at the rest of those races by themselves, they’ll go to the same schedule. Other teams may step in to fill the void in GTLM but nothing is official yet. One of the biggest teams left in GTLM is gone after this weekend and that may signal the end for one of the most exciting class of race cars in America. A planned GT convergence within IMSA is starting to look more and more crucial.

So if you’re track side at Sebring this weekend, enjoy Porsche’s final race in the class and what may be one final hurrah for GTLM as a whole.

I’m not crying. It’s just something in both of my eyes.

[Source: Porsche]

Long Beach Blue Pearl returns to the NSX


Acura has been slowly bringing back some of the paint options from the original NSX as heritage paints, and this week Long Beach Blue Pearl joined the club. That along with Berlina Black and Indy Yellow can add a touch of heritage to a car that has signaled the future for the brand since its inception.

The original Long Beach Blue Pearl is one of the rarest colors you can find on the first-generation NSX, with only 88 cars painted in the color during the four years it was available. It’s not limited this time around but does command a $1,000 premium. The color is also appropriate given Acura’s title sponsorship of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, which may be allowed to take place next year. Hopefully.

[Source: Acura]

2022 Ford eTransit

This is huge news. So huge that it warranted its own story. Ford has followed up on a promise to deliver an electrified Transit cargo van as a 2022 model year. Chris Tracy has the details here.

[Source: us]

What’s your automotive news?


That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend.

I'm the guy that spoiled the site with all the new car stuff. Hooniverse News Editor since 2011, amateur motorsport photographer, sim racer, and mountain road enthusiast.


  1. The BMW’s interior looks like a tacit admission they’ve entered their Brougham period, which is sad for BMW and general driving enthusiasts, but great news for lovers of vividly coloured velour. So I’m very torn.

    In hyperwagons, my heart still belongs to the E63 AMG (being marginally quicker, lighter, and more tasteful), but the IMSA paint job is enough to test my loyalties.

    Sadly, I think the ETransit is still the most exciting news for me.

    1. Yeah, I was going to say something about that interior, too. It reminds me of Italian supercars of the 70s– sort of minimalist leather-covered-plywood shapes, with geometric stitching patterns.

      1. Yes, plywood covered by suede leather. Not exactly premium in my eyes.

        And those blue bits on the outside: are those protective strips for shipping (like the yellow bits on Dodge Challengers), or are they meant to be there? 😉

        1. I’m sorry, but this car is just an all-around sh!tshow. I thought the i3 was sort of quirky-cool, but there’s nothing about the iX that I find appealing.

          1. I don’t think it looks horrible…it doesn’t look good. But “the engine bay can only be opened by bmw technicians” seems like an incredibly wasteful feature. Their vehicles are already extremely challenging to maintain out of warranty, and this works just seem to exacerbate the waste…

    2. Yeah, I was going to say something about that interior, too. It reminds me of Italian supercars of the 70s– sort of minimalist leather-covered-plywood shapes, with geometric stitching patterns.

    3. I’m not going to knock that interior too much (other than the stupid TV glued to the dash). At least it’s got color, and isn’t grey, gray, a different grey, or black. Although I think you’re right, it does have a LOT of brougham vibe going. They should have ‘pillowed’ the seats and had a lot more wood veneer – then we’d really be talking,

    4. Yeah that whole BMW simply reeks of “Chinese Market”, right down to the absolutely giant, absolutely unnecessary BMW “grill”.

      1. I mean, I actually sort of love the interior, although it’d hurt a lot less coming from Mercedes, or Genesis (seriously, great differentiator for a brand looking to break out of convention), a brand who doesn’t sell themselves on performance.

          1. Probably true, but I’m not sure what they are (except expensive) if not a sporting brand.

    1. Is that from Santa Cruz, CA? I have to think that’s the Giant Dipper in the background. There would be an inherent ‘coaster’ pun in there if that was true.

      1. Not sure unless there are palm trees growing out of the coaster, might just be polygon-rendering of hills

    1. You’re a consistent guy, and this is one day going to be a top shelf classic. Imagine all the enthusiasts nostalgic about BMW once the bucktooth-plywood-stitching-phase (you saw it on Hooniverse first ⬆️) gets a full hold. Might turn out to be an investment, after all. Congrats!

      1. Ha. Investment! 😂 I drive them too much. I feel like I’ve already betrayed the e61 now that it’s stopped breaking weekly (jinx!).

        1. Fair point, I guess. I found the secret to dependability with the Centennial: Having it reliably parked in the driveway. That said, I wil take it to a friend’s 40th birthday gettogether (5 ppl max in private arrangements), so I might find something fresh tonight.

          edit I’m too new to the crap car game to understand that you don’t joke with this stuff. Flashing CEL climbing up the first mountain pass – my first flashing CEL ever. Everything normal afterwards, and on the way home again. Met some guys at a gas station well over midnight here gathered around a 600 SEL. I had never seen this V12 live before. Regretting that I didn’t ask him to start it.

          1. Haha. That’s awesome! You are correct though, letting the old cars rest is a key piece of reducing repairs. My m5 really has only a couple mechanical repairs in the 5 years I’ve owned it, though it’s just now at 64k miles, but it only moves a few thousand miles a year. It has had plenty of BMW repairs though (sunshades, headlights adjusters, lcd screen replacements and repairs, seat twist…).

            You should have asked him to start it.

          2. Flashing is not a good thing, that means a more serious problem. Typically a misfire that is frequent enough that it could cause damage to the Catalytic converter. The fact that it happened when climbing the pass makes me think that the spark is “leaking” out of a coil wire/boot that is breaking down, or a coil with an internal short that limits the voltage it can produce to less than needed for a high load.

          3. Wow, ok, thank you for the tip! How reproducable is this supposed to be? On the way home, I floored it a couple of times, but it didn’t trigger a warning. When I stopped after the incident, the engine was ticking, which is unusual. Normally, it runs quite smoothly.

            edit: One of the OBD codes a friend of mine got to read (didn’t get to all) was “variable intake motor malfunction”. Is that something that would fit here?

          4. It could, presuming that it is relation to valve timing. When the cam sensors go out on the n52 bmw engines, they give you all sorts of misfires, misfire codes, and behaviors.

          5. I wouldn’t think that a intake motor problem would cause a flashing CEL as I wouldn’t think it would be something that could cause damage or excessive emissions.

            Anything that rose to the level of a flashing light should be stored in the codes. It should also set a freeze frame of the important inputs should be stored so you can see if it corresponds to the conditions when you noted the flashing light. Of course that is assuming the scan tool has the ability to read freeze frame data.

          6. Thank you! For now, nobody has gotten full OBD access to the car. My dongles have proved worthless. Going to try to read that out as soon as I get a chance again.

  2. I’m disappointed BMW didn’t make the beaver teeth 150mm or whatever deeper, to use the full height of the facia, or even jump ahead a few years and take the teeth half way up the hood too. As the old saying goes, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing!

    The steering wheel is a funny shape too. I wonder if anyone at BMW remembers the days when they focused on ergonomics.

    /end old-man rant….

    1. ‘Beaver Teeth’! Thanks for that, now every time I see one I’m going to get “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” by Primus stuck in my head.

      Wynona’s got herself a big brown Bimmer and she shows it off to all her friends…

    1. Is that a buy here pay here lot? I’d love to know the details of that trade, though perhaps it was bought at auction, though that seems odd given the other cars in that ad.

      1. No, it’s more like an upscale used car trader. They import luxury cars from the continent, cars that are prohibitively expensive to buy new in Norway. They have also been good at taking in a lot of the first gen EVs for trading, so I’d actually look at them as a pricey quality trader, rather than a shady saviour of those in immediate need of cash.

  3. Gave up on importing a Hilux, bought a new Tacoma instead. 2021 TRD Offroad, 4 door, manual trans.

    Decided to nix the Hilux idea for a few reasons- mostly because I realized I’ve been spending too much time wrenching on daily drivers. Its keeping me from working on stuff I want to, and its taking time I could be spending with my kids. So I’m selling my K10 and the Jetta TDI, and I decided to get a brand new truck that should take minimal time instead of another old one that I’ll have to put a bunch of time into. This is a big shift for me- I’ve always had older stuff, and I still really like older stuff, but with young kids at home my time is at a premium, and I just had to decide what my priorities were.

    The truck is really nice. There is something to be said for driving something that just works, with modern conveniences…

    1. From a country where you can buy Hiluxes in your local ‘yota dealer, honestly, you’re not really missing much. I’d have that Tacoma over one any day.

    2. From a country where you can buy Hiluxes in your local ‘yota dealer, honestly, you’re not really missing much. I’d have that Tacoma over one any day.

    3. From a country where you can buy Hiluxes in your local ‘yota dealer, honestly, you’re not really missing much. I’d have that Tacoma over one any day.

      1. I had no real expectations of something spectacular- I really just wanted it for something different. The Tacoma is pretty nice. And definitely the more sensible option.

  4. Got to drive a 2020 Accord 2.0t for a business trip this week. EX-L trim, I believe. Fantastic car. Quick, pretty nimble and comfortable. I drove 9 hours round trip for a 3 hour meeting and it just ate up the miles. My only complaints were the lane departure warnings (which I turned off) and the adaptive cruise which I couldn’t turn off. In bumper to bumper traffic the adaptive cruise was fantastic, but otherwise it left too large of a gap and was easily fooled by cars in the adjacent lane.

    My daughter called me this morning stranded with an overheated Protege. My first thought, after she mentioned the pegged temp gauge and lots of steam, was a seized engine. When I got there, it started and ran fine, but the battery light was on and the LF of the engine compartment was wet. The water pump is driven by an external belt, with the alternator, and it had failed. So now I’m thinking failed belt, overheated and blown head gasket.

    I nursed it home and once home I realized that the overflow bottle is on the LF and that was likely the source of the water and steam so now I’m hoping it’s just a bad belt. We’ll see tomorrow.

    1. We have newer Accords in our university fleet, and I would love to know how to just have dumb old cruise control. The interstate between here and phx, where 99% of my trips go, has many curves (fun!) but the adaptive cruise control picks up vehicles in adjacent lanes when rounding curves and brake checks you.

      1. Yep, my complaint as well. Especially frustrating as you’re passing on the freeway, someone behind you wanting to go around you, and the car decides that the car in the adjacent lane is actually in front of you so it slows down. I don’t think the “adaptive” part can be turned off, or at least I didn’t find a way. It also wanted to slow for cars ahead earlier than I wanted to change lanes to pass, so that took some adaptation to change lanes earlier as well.

        In stop and go, however, it was quite nice. Set to 65 MPH, it would slow to creep along with traffic and even come to a stop, cruise still set. It takes a touch of the throttle and it starts right back up again, keeping up with traffic.

        Supposedly it’s improved for 2021. We have a 2021 Accord Hybrid on the way for my wife, so I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks.

        1. On the MG ZS we tried for a weekend, the adaptive cruise control would slow down in all curves. Super annoying if you’re just trying to drive a certain speed, and that one would actually apply the brakes, not just regenerate or cruise.

    2. Well, I put new belts on the Protege and discovered two things:

      1 – The plastic timing belt cover was not seated properly and the water pump / alternator belt had worn a groove in it. The good news, I guess, is that likely means that it’s had a timing belt at some point. The bad news, of course, is that is what likely took out the belt. The groove is worn large enough that it probably no longer interferes with the belt, but who knows what kind of debris is inside the cover now, possibly mucking up the belt or pulleys. Thankfully, this is not an interference engine. I plan on keeping an eye on it and maybe putting on a new cover here soon.

      2 – That wasn’t all it needs. After a test drive, I was feeling pretty confident until I parked it in the driveway and saw the steam. It seems the seal on the top radiator tank let go, so it needs a new radiator. A job for another day.

        1. Yes, but it feeds into an overflow bottle on the driver’s side. The top of the radiator was wet at the joint between the plastic tank and the aluminum core on the passenger side. Plus, it was not overheated, temp guage was normal, just under the mid point. I would expect high temperatures to cause excessive pressure and the pressure cap to open.

          I’ll double check, but I don’t think it was the cap.

          1. Score one for plastic radiator tanks… Had one crack after a track day, could hear a hissing when changing tyres after the last run.

            Don’t suppose it’s near the inlet hose?

          2. No, it was the seal between the tank and the core. It was weeping all the way across. Installed the new radiator last night and all is well.

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